This is so sad.
I hope the 25 are all of stellar quality. To want to be a priest in this day and age, when it is looked down upon by many instead of being regarded as a prestigious posiion as it used to be, you must be a very special person who has heard a very special call from God. I pray for each and every one of them that they become exceptionally good priests.
‘For many are called, but few are chosen’ Matt 22:14. Let us pray for our shepherds, that they may always walk in the way of righteousness.
At youtube, I have watched some of Saint John Paul II’s trip there in 1978., I believe he is before half a million people at one point of the visit. I may exaggerate, maybe it was only 200,000. I use to keep up with the order of St. Vincent de Paul in Ireland. I wonder if the figure in post #1 is inclusive of all orders or just of the national seminary. Anyway, as usual we can hope and pray for the best.
A great number of priests I knew growing up were from Ireland but I’ve seen the declining trend for some time now. I expect that more seminarians in the future will come from the third world instead.
I will continue my prayer for priests and keep this intention in my prayers today.
This is hardly surprising. They’ve become a lot like Germany. Ireland has seen ginormous changes in public attitudes towards social issues such as abortion, contraception, divorce and same-sex marriage. Much like Germany, which also has seen a big drop in vocations. Both of these countries suffer from the fact that secularization and religious liberalism run rampant.
I think the figures refer to this particular seminary, there likely are others in Rome, or in religious orders. But yes, the numbers are way, way down.
This is the ongoing impact of secular humanism. In my US diocese, we see few new priests. But they are all orthodox. Some were home schooled, many are personally active in prolife and religious liberty.
Looking at the priests who retired in recent years, yes they had greater numbers, but half of the ones I am familiar with, were liberal.
My former pastor was glued to the secular media. There was no doctrine at all. This kind of man is not entering seminary in my city, perhaps similar in Ireland. In a decade they will be much smaller, maybe stronger.
Population of Ireland: 4.8 million.
78% of Ireland is Catholic, at least in name, which is down from 88% in 2002, and 84% in 2011.
So out of 3.7 million Catholics, only 25 seminarians, according to the article?
On the plus side, it looks like there were, until recently, two seminaries: one at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth and one at Saint Malachy’s in Belfast. There was a 2016 article about the Archbishop of Dublin wanting to send seminarians from his diocese to Rome, rather than keeping them at Maynooth, due to whispers of problems at Maynooth-- like seminarians using Grindr and stuff.
So, there were 19 new seminarians starting their formation in Ireland last year. So if the reason for “being down to only one remaining seminary” is that the other seminary got closed down for a good scrubbing… hopefully there’s a chance that it will reopen so it can do the good work it’s supposed to do.
I wonder if the US will send some priests over (I understand that Ireland has sent us help before).
Do we have priests to spare?
I would guess Ireland would get priests from places like Africa. There were a ton of Irish missionaries in the past and it’s likely that priests from some of those missions might now help out the Irish.
aren’t there any religious order seminaries in Ireland?
I wonder if newer, expanding religious orders might come into Ireland, if they are not there now. I am thinking of the Community of St. Martin, based in France,; the FSSP; Opus Dei, which has a priest branch; Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign priest; Society of St. Paul, the first Hermit; (based in Poland). Perhaps some order might set up a seminary in Ireland, considering there might be concerns over the existing diocesan seminaries
there must be others
I’m a bit surprised the Columbans have their international headquarters in Hong Kong these days.
25 seminarians for all Irland is a very low level!
Yeah, and many of them should never have been allowed to darken the door of a seminary. I’d rather have 25 good seminarians than hundreds of ones that either left the priesthood or don’t agree with Church Teaching.
Also, this doesn’t take into account that many young men are turned off the diocesan priesthood here by the toxic culture at the National Seminary. Many men decide to try religious orders or go to the UK.
In any case, the Church in Ireland has taken a battering and needs to shrink for a time. In 25 years the Irish Church will likely have less members and priests, but will probably be more vibrant, alive, and ready to re-evangelise the nation.
What is that toxic culture in the National Seminary of Ireland?
Homosexual behaviour. Teachers that disagree with church teaching and fear orthodoxy. Teachers with funny ideas about formation. And a Bishop that is afraid to rock the boat.
I don’t know if it will be that time frame of not, but I definitely try to impress that upon people. In the US specifically the highest peak in attendance was post war America. But that was the time of Godless Commies, a generation of people who loved to join clubs, more culturally constrained, and when the church you went to signified your place within society.
If there were 600 seminary students in the pipeline today, there would be a real problem placing them all when they are ordained.
There is a need for fewer priests as fewer of the faithful are frequent attenders.
The solution is to increase interest and piety among the faithful. The number of priests will keep up with it.
That sort of behavior shouldn’t be happening in the seminary and I can see how candidates might not want to deal with that.